Prior to 2020, grocery shopping was one of the things people usually preferred to do in person, instead of online. However, the pandemic changed everything. In 2019, online grocery sales grew 22%, but in 2020 they are predicted to grow 40% because of the need to shop safely, and consumers’ increasing comfort with ecommerce. Kroger, a grocery retailer that has been out in front of the ecommerce story since the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S., saw 108% growth in digital sales in Q3.
According to Rimma Kats for eMarketer, which recently released its “Top 10 Retail Ecommerce, By Company, 2020,” list, “Kroger had made digital investments over the years that helped it navigate 2020’s unusual circumstances. The company will see its ecommerce sales in the U.S. surpass $11 billion this year, growing by more than 79% year over year.” Kroger made the top 10 U.S. ecommerce retailers’ list for the first time this year, coming in at number nine, just ahead of Costco Wholesale. Macy’s was edged off the list this year.
Amazon Is At The Top Of The Ecommerce Heap, While Target Innovates To Move Up The List
To no one’s surprise, Amazon continues to dominate the ecommerce landscape, landing in the number one spot on the eMarketer list with more than $309 billion in sales. Walmart, Ebay, Apple and The Home Depot rounded out the top five ecommerce retailers. In order to stay relevant amidst all the shifting consumer behaviors this year, these top ecommerce brands have consistently offered new products and services, innovated seamless options for easier shopping and purchasing and maintained consistent awareness of what consumers want and when they want it. An example of ecommerce agility is in-store purchase fulfillment, which Target mastered in 2020, landing them in the seventh spot on the eMarketer top 10 U.S. retail ecommerce list. Prior to the pandemic, eMarketer predicted Target would be in the eighth spot, but the retailer’s aggressive push to meet the consumer need for alternative pick-up options paid off.
The Grocery Vertical Is An Ecommerce Winner For Big Box Stores And Supermarkets
Grocery has been a successful ecommerce category for stores like Walmart and Target this year, with Sam’s Club ecommerce sales seeing growth of 41%. So, it’s hardly a surprise that grocery retailers like Kroger would benefit from the newfound desire to order groceries online, whether opting for delivery or pick-up. “The pandemic has shifted consumer priorities,” said Cindy Liu, eMarketer senior forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence. “Kroger will benefit from two tailwinds this year: Eating at home continues to be in favor among Americans, and there’s been greater interest by consumers in ordering groceries online. With these two forces at play, we shouldn’t be surprised by Kroger’s strong growth this year.”
What Should We Expect For Ecommerce In 2021?
More of the same. Consumers are likely to continue ordering online and favoring ecommerce for safe, efficient ways to shop. Many retail insiders predict that a significant amount of new consumer habits developed in 2020 will persist beyond the pandemic, with brands and retailers that have stayed nimble and ahead of the curve likely to benefit from the loyalty and trust created during the COVID-19 crises. “COVID-19 has upended the retail industry, shifting shopping priorities in a way that resulted in unforeseen changes in our rankings,” Liu said. “This is especially true near the bottom of our list, where less than a percentage point had separated Kroger and Macy’s in 2019.”
Realizing that more ecommerce means more time spent online, digital advertisers should continue to keep their foot on the gas, opting for digital solutions and advertising strategies that benefit consumers and resonate across audiences.
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